As I’m finishing up my 2016 goals, and soon ready to share them, I always like to be vulnerable and take an honest look on last year’s to see how they ended up. This is for two reasons 1) I think it’s so important to look back and see what worked, and what didn’t. How else can you know how to better plan for this year? 2) I think it’s important to share my failures as much as my successes. I love posting pretty things on social media and putting my best foot forward, but I also want to share the real-life side of not accomplishing everything I want, and the areas of weakness. It’s too easy to feel alone when we stare our failure in the face and to think that everyone else is accomplishing all of their goals and dreams, but we’re sitting here alone, tired and feeling discouraged because of what we can’t seem to do. If that’s you, please know none of us are perfect. No one gets everything accomplished perfectly, or the first time. We all have weaknesses, we all drop the ball, we all fail. BUT, the exciting part of looking back on that is the opportunity to troubleshoot and find new approaches to those same challenges.
Here’s a look back on my goals for 2015 and what did and did not get done.
Overall objective: To embody and embrace this mindset of generosity and sacrifice in all that I seek to do this year, loving others well and giving of myself and my resources freely.
Prepare my heart, home and lifestyle as much as possible for Baby’s arrival in June! Setting monthly/weekly goals along the way to practically work towards this.
- Work on setting aside my personal priorities to better and more consistently give attention to household areas that will serve and bless Aaron more specifically (we naturally prioritize different things based on our personalities). – This was a HUGE struggle, especially after Llewyn was born. Anything I felt like I’d accomplished beforehand went completely away after having him.
Eat healthy and stay active for the remainder of the pregnancy, and establish a realistic plan to prioritize this after Baby is born, as well. – I have totally failed to start and maintain a good routine since Llewyn was born. Continue to actively serve in church ministry. More intentionally reach out and invest in deepening relationships with other women/couples in our community group and church. Invest intentionally in the lives of younger girls as a mentor and encouragement, in whatever ways God would open doors.
- Develop a habit of more effective meal planning and cooking more consistently. – Failed miserably.
- Read at least 4 books. – Only read 2. And they were both baby-related. Was in the middle of two others, but never finished.
- Establish a better budget with Aaron to increase savings potential. – Nope.
Overall Objective: Continue simplifying things as much as possible so that what gets my time and attention are the things I’m most passionate about and necessary for, as well as maintain a healthy work/life balance even as it shifts when Baby is born.
Design and order new printed materials to go along with the new brand.
- Design and order my own bridal guide magazine. – Started it, but haven’t completed it yet.
Restructure packages and pricing.– Did this somewhat, but might want to do it even more drastically. Become a featured vendor on at least one prominent blog.
- Learn about and open an IRA. – Didn’t even START this.
- Establish a workflow for submitting weddings and shoots more often/consistently. – Still not where I want it.
Reach out to more vendors and get better with overall communication with them. Take steps to make dream shoot opportunities happen that I’ve been putting off, to shoot more of what excites and inspires me. Focus on “done is better than perfect” instead of letting myself get caught up in perfection at every turn. Above all, give myself grace as I learn the ropes of balancing my business and becoming a Mom.– This became SO important after Llewyn was born.
Clearly there were some things that I didn’t accomplish last year. In large part, yes, because I had a baby and my entire world was changed – and that’s ok! I didn’t know what life would be like as a Mom, and I’ve learned a lot as I’ve gone. But part of the failure in accomplishing some of those goals is that I made them too broad, and didn’t develop a time-sensitive plan for achieving them. So of course they were going to go undone. I’ve learned from that for this year and have tried to get more specific with the goals I set, and start out with actionable steps so that there’s way less of an excuse for them going undone. But even the things I didn’t get done (or even make progress on), I don’t look back and feel depressed. I’m grateful for the things that did go well last year, for the amazing way my life was changed by becoming a Mom, and for the opportunity of a new year to re-tackle some of these failures and weaknesses. I’m full of hope, not discouraged, and I hope you can see your own failures in the same way.
As Anne Shirley would said, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
Here’s to a fresh 2016 of goals and improvement!